Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Monday, July 31, 2006

ZDD Editorial Staff Complete Field Survival Training

All the bloggers (except Nails, who got a baby-bi) participated in field survival training last week in the wilderness of the Guadalupe river above New Braunfels, Texas. We had to learn about the hazzards of jello-shots, beer bongs, and booze-soaked tube mavens, but I feel we all emerged tanned, tougher and tested.

The rumor that strippers would be assaulting the river area had us on edge; however, this turned out to be a threat that was overstated:

Sunday's "Boobs in Toobs" outing turned out to be a bit of a bust.

Thanks to a barrage of television news crews awaiting the would-be tubers when they arrived at San Antonio's Palace Men's Club, most of the dancers decided to forgo their planned river fun.

The tubing excursion to the Comal River was advertised to club customers willing to pay $25 as a chance to enjoy a lazy afternoon with their favorite entertainers. The trip generated a lot of attention statewide because of local officials' fears it might turn into another excuse for rowdy river behavior.

But the group that arrived in town on two unmarked, white charter buses at about 1:30 p.m. included only seven girls on the club's payroll. Club management and paying customers made up the rest of the 45-member group.

New Braunfels Police Chief Russell Johnson met the group at a gas station at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Loop 337 to give them a law enforcement-oriented welcome of sorts.

"I just told them to behave themselves," said Johnson, who left behind a bevy of six news crews to board the buses and deliver his speech. "I did ask them please no nudity. I told them as long as we didn't have any trouble, they wouldn't have any more scrutiny from our officers than any other group."

Although the tubers did not ask any questions, Johnson was pleased with their reaction to his requests and the list of new restrictions recently placed on river activities.

"They were respectful and responsive," he said. "I really think this is a non-event, except for all of the media attention."

Once Johnson was finished laying down the law, the tour rolled on in to town. Club Manager Trey Maddox told Johnson he planned to use Guadalupe River outfitter Amigo Mel's, but the group ended up at Texas Tubes instead.

Despite the number of cameras waiting to catch any potential excitement, the club flotilla flopped into the water without making much of a splash. As soon as they floated away from the bank, they instantly got lost in the rest of the Sunday crowd.

Several of the girls had donned Groucho Marx-style disguises, with fake noses and mustaches, on the bus but apparently saw no need for the anonymity once they got in the water.

Police reported no problems on the river throughout the rest of the afternoon.

© 2006 The Herald-Zeitung. All rights reserved.

Also, let me extend everyone's deep personal gratitude and sense of pride in the privilege of being chosen for a link on the best political blog in T-E-X-A-S Vince, we love you and wish you continued success.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Magic Carpet Ride

Here is some of the fun from the 2006 Houston Art Car Parade sponsored by the Orange Show. Photos courtesy of Ivan Maltz

Friday, July 28, 2006

George Orwell + Janet Jackson

Got back to town today and was just trying to catch up with Judge Parker and Mary Worth when I read that PBS found it necessary to go to court to defend a station that's been gigged by the FCC for airing the words of WWII combat vets. Remember that Michael Powell, then FCC head, granted special dispensation to allow the airing of the Pvt. Ryan film. This was one of the few movies in world history to celebrate the valor, and register the horror, of war. Since then, our tory congress found it important to chomp down on wardrobe malfunctions and other verbotenfare. Is it still free expression if we have to get permission first?
National treasures Martin Scorcese and Ken Burns have films on the way that PBS affiliates are afraid to air because a six figure fine would sink many local stations.
Roundhead republican appointees are censoring broadcast content on the public airwaves. We allow them to do it.
Let's kick their #@(%!% @$$E$ out this fall!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

CDC considers Texas for Morgellons study

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a study of Morgellons disease that may target South Texas where more than 100 people are suffering from the illness.

Cindy Casey suffers from Morgellons. Symptoms of the disease include lesions that leave scars, the sensation of bugs crawling under the skin, and fibers that pop out of the skin.

"Mostly black and white. Some of them were blue, and some of them were red. The whole area gets really sore and you feel some sort of crawling sensation around the lesion," Casey said.

Like others, Casey was diagnosed with delusional parasitosis — delusions of parasites. Most doctors do not recognize Morgellons as a disease.

However, one medical school is taking Morgellons very seriously. Most of the research on Morgellons is being done at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. Doctors and scientists at OSU said this disease is real, and it's frightening.

"I am 100 percent convinced that Morgellons is a real disease pathology," said Dr. Randy Wymore, an assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology at OSU.

Wymore has spent the past year studying hundreds of fibers from Morgellons patients.

"The samples do look very similar to one another," he said.

Wymore added that the fibers don't look like anything found in textiles. He has also determined that the fibers are not rubbing off from clothing, because doctors at OSU have found the fibers inside the body.

"We were able to observe fibers under completely unbroken skin," he said.

Dr. Rhonda Casey has examined more than 30 Morgellons patients.

"There's no question in my mind that it's a real disease," she said.

Dr. Casey has extracted fibers from under the skin, and examined them under a microscope.

"If it were not for the fibers, the patients would all be taken seriously. So I think even though the fibers may be a key to helping us diagnose this disease, they have also been a hinderance to it even being accepted as a real disease in the past," she said.

Even thought the lesions and fibers are the most visible symptoms, doctors said the more damaging effects of this disease are the nerve and neurological damage, which affects the ability to think and move.

"Trouble concentrating, trouble communicating, and problems thinking of the words you want to say, and how you want to express yourself," patient Cindy Casey said.

However, it is the symptoms that sound like science fiction that make this disease like no other.

"I pulled some fibers out, and I was just taking a look at it, and the fibers just started to move around, kind of around each other," Cindy Casey said. "And I screamed to Charles (my husband), 'Charles, come here and look, because everyone's been telling me I'm crazy. Charles, look at this,' and he looked at it, and yeah, he saw it too."

"This one I didn't want to believe," Charles Casey said.

Incidents like that are just one more bizarre part to this puzzling disease that seems to be spreading.

"There is the slightly frightening component to it that we don't know what causes this. If more and more people are coming down with Morgellons, we need to get a handle on this," Wymore said. "Is there an environmental component that needs to be addressed? Is it contagious? These are all things that we don't know the answer to at this point."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

La Revolucion

While the ME is in flames and the media's attention is diverted with barely enough left to report on the heat wave gripping the nation, I am getting worried about the powder keg smoldering to the south.

Things are at a standstill in Mexico while the country resolves its electoral crisis that many wonder might explode into civil war.

From Rueters:

"You want civil war!" a full-page advertisement in one newspaper this week screamed at Lopez Obrador. The ad, placed by what appeared to be a private citizen, accused the leftist of treason and seeking "to divide and bleed a people that is united and at peace."

A cartoon in the Reforma newspaper pictured Lopez Obrador as the horror movie doll Chucky wearing a Nazi swastika armband and wielding an ax.

On the other side, posters portraying conservative Felipe Calderon as a Nazi are showing up in Mexico City's subway and a group of people harassed him as he left a meeting with trade union leaders earlier this week.

The election split Mexico between left and right, giving Calderon a victory of some 240,000 votes, or 0.6 percentage point, over Lopez Obrador.

The leftist, 52, challenged Calderon on Friday to accept a vote-for-vote recount of ballots and promised to keep up massive street protests if the court did not call a recount.

One might be experiencing deja vu over this squeaker of a vote so close to the US's series of tight races. Why are vote margins so thin while conservatives dominate institutions and at the same time have such deplorable poll numbers? I know that's a question pondered deeply these days in the red state/blue state debate. But many are beginning to accept the possibility that right wing governments just cheat like hell and laugh at the public for its sheepishness. Although a UN election monitoring team called the Mexican elction clean, some of the same controversies over provisional ballots, ballot dumping and voter intimidation are issuing from Mexican media. From LA times:

Election authorities said that as many as 900,000 votes remained to be added to the official tally because polling station results had not yet arrived at regional election headquarters. An undetermined number are from the remotest rural areas of southern Mexico, which lean toward Lopez Obrador.

The new figures were released after Lopez Obrador charged Monday that more than 3 million votes had been "lost" from the preliminary tallies released by the Federal Electoral Tribunal.

The Calderon campaign insisted that the final outcome was not in doubt.

"The general tendencies and the result will not change," Calderon advisor Arturo Sarukhan said. "Felipe Calderon is today the president-elect of Mexico…. With or without these 3 million votes, the result will not change."

But leaders of Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, said election officials had committed a serious error by leading Mexicans to believe that nearly all the votes had been counted.

"It seems to me very grave, and unforgivable, that a fact of this nature was not released to the public," said Jesus Ortega, Lopez Obrador's campaign coordinator.

Obrador's followers are raising hell like voters in the US should have made in 2000 and 2004. It might be unnatural for people in America to think of protests and civil disobedience as means to a legitimate end, but a sense of true patriotism dictates that we must be vigilant in challenging those who would hijack our institutions. Although I have little hope of this trend changing anytime soon, let's keep a closer look south of the border as to the people's next move.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Music Biz

Guess what?

Driftwood is opening up for the fabulous Kacy Crowley ( at The Red Room on the St. Mary's Strip in SA; 8:30, Friday, July 28th. (

Go and listen to her wonderful sound clips. She is quite good, and called 'Bob Dylan with tits.'

How could you pass this up?

A Plague of Butterflies Descends on Texas

July 21, 2006, 11:37AM
Central Texas sees explosion of butterflies

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — American snout butterflies are swarming parts of Central and South Texas as a result of erratic weather that created good conditions for the insects, experts said.

The swarms of butterflies took flight about a week ago and have been spotted across the region in places such as Eagle Pass, Hondo, San Antonio and Kerr County.

"I'd probably say in the millions across the multicounty area is a fairly safe ballpark," said Mike Quinn, a biologist with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

The snouts, which pose no danger to plants or people, are named for their flattened noses that help them resemble a dead leaf. The underside of the wing is whitish, while the top is orange, brown and white.

Quinn said snout swarms aren't unusual, but this year's is bigger than most.

The abundance is probably due to the weather, he said. The prolonged drought destroyed the flies and wasps that kill the butterfly in the caterpillar stage. Then, heavy rains that fell in early July nurtured new growth on spiny hackberry trees, resulting in food for the caterpillars and nesting environment for the butterflies.

"This last weekend it was just amazing," said Robin Nowak, of San Antonio. "I saw hundreds and hundreds of them while I was out gardening, and they were as high in the sky as we could see."

The snouts are also making their presence known in Eagle Pass, said Carol Cullar, executive director of the Rio Bravo Nature Center Foundation. On a drive Wednesday, the air was thick with butterflies and her truck was plastered with remains.

"The grackles are feeding off the roadway after the trucks pass, so it must look like manna from heaven to them," Cullar said.

The snouts don't have a discernible migration pattern and have been known to just fly around in one area.

"My strong suspicion is that they are picking up the scent of fresh vegetation in one direction or another," Cullar said.

Quinn said the swarming snouts will probably be around for about two weeks. More swarms are possible through mid-October.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

More Fallout from GOP Lobby Scandal

Despite support from big guns like Zell Miller, Rudy Giuliani, and Sean Hannity,
Georgia Republicans yesterday refused to believe Ralph Reed’s holy baloney, and
denied him a shot at statewide office.
Since leaving the employ of batshit telemarketer Pat Robinson, Reed has made millions
shilling for such Christian causes as Microsoft’s antitrust defense, Enron deregulation efforts, Marianas Islands labor regulations, China’s trade status, TV1, e lottery, and
Jack Abramoff’s tribal gaming clients. All this came home to roost as Georgia
State Senator Casey Cagle wired Abramoff around Reed’s neck like a dead
chicken around a bad dog.
One story I hadn’t heard about was the Black Churches Insurance Program turned up by the Texas Observer. Called Charity Elder Program2 in Reed/Abramoff email traffic,it is styled after Abramoff’s Tigua Elder Legacy Project, a scheme to take out nonqualified deferred compensation, or “dead peasant policies” on elderly clients who couldn’t otherwise afford his exorbitant fees. Reed apparently suffers from amnesia on this subject, as he does about laundering gambling money through Grover Norquist to disguise it’s tainted origins.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Music Stuff

The Cove is a great place, but last night the host for open mic did not show, so we went to Casbeer's and played to a great audience. The talent there is not to be beaten anywhere.

I am beginning to regret calling SA a vast entertainment wasteland...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Some ME News Sources

Some in the blogosphere are avoiding a discussion of the middle east conflict. After Bush's remarks on a live microphone yesterday, it appears there is some of Cheney's hand in this, and the neocons might be realizing some heretofore unfulfilled aspirations.

If you care to follow this stuff, I have listed some good sources I have found: A mossad house organ but too intense not to look at. Mostly about bombs, but highly traffic'd by Col. Maltz. For those who really like "fair and balanced." Solid reporting.

Please stay informed.

Hunter Thompson on the Biz

"Wherein energetic and creative artists are bewildered, demoralized, and eventually crushed by an imcomprehensible business model and unending legalese drafted by parasites whose singular goal is to capture as much of the pie as possible. The business also has a number of negative features."

Fortunately, there are a few friends out there. Lucy and I will crawl from the wreckage of our own obscurity tonight to appear in the hot lights of open mic at The Cove on W. Cypress in beautiful SATX. Nice place. Super people. Come and watch.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jury Duty

I was called for jury duty at the Municipal Courts. It’s a drag but I always say that if I was down by law I’d want a reasonable person such as myself to be on the panel.
I’d been reading about the “broken window theory” recently and this came to mind as I got inside the grimy courthouse with spotty lighting and graffiti’d bathroom. When politicians speak of class warfare they’re usually spouting off against progressive tax structures, but I see a different kind of class war going on here. I’m no anarchist, but
there’s some sorry sacks up against it here. This is the education system of last resort.
I got on a panel, but during the truncated voir dire, the prosecuting attorney must have seen me wonder why someone would retain counsel and ask for a jury trial for a $200
speeding ticket. I was struck out and sent back to the assembly room.
We got a lunch break, and some of us walked next door to the cop shop to the cafeteria. Going down the dingy stairway we were assaulted by an evil funk that was overpowering the reek of disinfectant. That’s the smell of misery, I said. One look at the cafeteria convinced me to ankle it a few blocks to a civilian establishment, chicken fried steak, hold the despair.
A few more hours in the assembly room, read, talked with some other citizens. I hijacked the television and watched Jeopardy. Finally they paid me my $6 and gave me a bus pass.There’s no place like home.

Friday, July 14, 2006


The San Antonio Express News has Peggy FiKak run a political blog called "Strange Bedfellows.," at

She strikes me as someone who is objectively neutral in her politics but only writes about what Rick Perry does every damn day.

I just wanted to say, Peggy, you need to keep an eye open for the Washington Post Ombudsman's gig, because you would do an helluva job.

Check this out:

July 11, 2006
Peggy FiKac: Too Hot

Democrat Chris Bell says it's "morally offensive" that the state is diverting money from helping low-income people with their utility bills while taxpayers pick up the hefty utility bill at the public housing used by Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry spokesman Robert Black called it "silliness" for Bell to bring the Governor's Mansion electric bills into the argument.

Bell's camp called on Perry to "either cease collecting" the fee from ratepayers or use it "for its intended purpose."

Black noted it was lawmakers who voted to divert the money into the state's general-purpose fund. He also said several utilities voluntarily offer discounts -- including TXU at Perry's urging, he said. Black said Perry's proposed budget included funding for the program, but he doesn't have authority to add it to the budget approved by lawmakers.

Perry also didn't add the issue to the special session agenda, which he could have done. Black said Perry needed to be sure lawmakers focused on the priority of school finance and tax overhaul legislation.

What of the mansion's electric bill, which Bell said was $4,843.41 in July 2005 and $5,522.86 this May?

Black said the 150-year-old mansion is a public building open to tours, not just Perry's home. He said more than 500 tourists a month walk through the Governor's Mansion in the summer.

"What does he prefer?" Black asked. "That the state use really big blocks of ice?"

No word on whether the tourists close the door behind them.

Is that some hi-larious shit from that Mr. Black fellow or what? And such an amusing subject?


I think I understand.

Rick Perry has no control over the actions of the Leg.

He has no control over the operations of the Governor's Mansion.

And he has no ability to aleviate the privations of the poor, elderly and disabled utility users.

Your gov-love will do you no good, unless you are a dude.


The San Antonio Express-News political writers and editors pass along info, news items and analysis on politics from Washington, Austin and right here in San Antonio.
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Why didn't you print my post from yesterday?

All I said was that Perry is disengenuous about not being able to limit utility use in the governor's mansion and his ability to help the suffering of increasingly rising fuel bills for the poor, elderly and disabled.

Plus SA Express News gives him way too much ink compared to other candidates, because this paper is conservatively biased.

And I implied he is a closeted homosexual, which is nothing new.

Are you censoring stuff you don't like? Tisk Tisk


The San Antonio Express-News political writers and editors pass along info, news items and analysis on politics from Washington, Austin and right here in San Antonio.
Thank You for Commenting

Your comment has been received. To protect against malicious comments, I have enabled a feature that allows your comments to be held for approval the first time you post a comment. I'll approve your comment when convenient; there is no need to re-post your comments.

I don't think she likes me.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Welcome Silence Dogwood

A new commentator has arrived that is a lady. No joke.

Not only is she articulate, erudite, and smokin' hot, she can actually spell!


Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I hate to interrupt the great posting by the gang lately. But I just had to chime in on a subject that frustrates me, which is the whole Andrea Yates retrial thing.

To my complete astonishment, the MSM has decided to semantically white-wash the perjured testimony of the states primary expert, and continues to paint Ms. Yates as a goulish monster whose premeditated murder of her five children was motivated by a desire to free herself of the burden of motherhood. The AP wire uses words to described Dr. Deitz's perjured testimony as "erroneous" in three different stories and KSAT news "incorrect" or "erroneous" in multiple broadcasts, and so on.

But my stars, Harris County brought this guy back again to testify as to her state of mind!


A lie defined:

"To utter falsehood with an intention to deceive; to say or do that which is intended to deceive another, when he a right to know the truth, or when morality requires a just representation."

From the AP wire today:

"Dietz told jurors in the first trial that she knew drowning the children was wrong. Dietz, also a consultant for the "Law & Order" television series, said in the first trial that one episode showed a woman being acquitted by reason of insanity after drowning her children in the tub. After Yates' conviction, those involved in the case discovered no such episode existed.

But the judge is expected to block testimony on that issue in this trial.

Yates, 42, is being retried in the drownings because an appeals court overturned her 2002 conviction because Dietz's testimony about the nonexistent "Law & Order" show might have influenced the jury."

I'll let readers decide what is going on here.

I should also say that Yates' attorneys went a long way to having Texas' insanity defense laws thrown out, although I can't readily site the ruling. Besides, check this out:

"TYLER, Texas — Dressed in white pajamas, Deanna Laney slipped out of bed without disturbing her husband of 18 years and headed down the hall to kill her children.

It was 11:30 p.m. on the Friday before Mother's Day last year, and God was speaking to the 39-year-old, devoutly religious housewife again.

The Lord told Laney the end was near, He was coming and she needed to kill her sons to prove her complete and unconditional faith in Him, Laney told a forensic psychiatrist in December."

That trial was last year. Psycho-mom walked. No kidding. She didn't drown her kids, rather, she bashed their heads in with a large rock.

I happened to KNOW Elaine Brae Shook, the "Corpus Christi Occult Slayer," who drowned her two toddlers in the bay because she thought they were devil-babies. She did it to free their souls. She had previously dived into a Boston-area canal with her eight-month old baby because she was despairing over a breakup with her boyfriend. She went to the State Hospital for three years and then walked free.

She committed suicide in 1997.

What puzzles me is the level of frothy mad-dog revenge the MSM is seeking in this case. Hell, when I was a kid in Houston growing up there were so many poor women jumping in the bayou with their children, or stuffing them in ovens, etc., to get the Devil out that it became rather boring and common-place.

I think it is because she defied Rusty, who is the poster boy for the "batshit rightwing cliques." How could she hurt poor Rusty?

Andrea Yates is going to die.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mmmmm.... Donuts!

I saw a billboard celebrating Shipley's Donuts 70 years in Houston. I was happy to see they ran Krispy Kreme out of town. The Shipley donut is an honest and unpretentious confection. They are packed closely in the typically sized donut box, so closely that you are likely to get a bit of chocolate covering sticking to your plain glazed, or some jelly filling oozing onto your sugar donut. These boxes make it easy for people to stack a few boxes under their arms to ply clients with workplace breakfast treats. There is nothing like a gooey hot Shipley's donut, no matter what people say about health matters, the occaisonal donut is necessary to one's mental health. The Krispy Kreme, on the other hand, is a sassy little number, individually placed in large thin boxes so not one donut touches the other. I think this hurts Krispy Kreme sales in this part of the country. It's hard to put those long thin donut boxes under your arm, feeling as you have to keep them level in order not to disturb the regal pastries resting inside. They are presented like something that should be served at high tea in the afternoon, not with bitter hot black office coffee in the morning. The term "gourmet donut" comes to mind, but this is surely an oxymoron. They are not lumpy and charming like your grandmother, they are as smooth, uniform and polished as a young professional couple fresh out of graduate school. I never trust a salesman bearing Krispy Kreme donuts. I have seen Krispy Kreme donuts in production as well. The shops are automated and you can see the donuts in formation on a conveyor belt getting covered with sickly sweet icing that turns crisp when it cools down, hence the name Krispy Kreme, I think. Donuts should not be manufactured.
Thank you Shipley's, for 70 years of honest, unpretentious, down to earth donuts, and thanks also for ousting a company that caters to the type of people that believe donuts can be made into a polite and prestigious gourmet treat.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

DeLay for Congress

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks quashed a conspiracy by former congressman Tom DeLay, Fort Bend County GOP Chairman Eric Thode, and State GOP Chairman Tina Benkiser to hand pick a candidate for the District 22 congressional seat that
DeLay resigned from last month, claiming to be a resident of Virginia.
Judge Sparks, appointed to the bench in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush, is a former golden gloves boxer who dabbles in poetry and last year appeared in a Shakespeare in the park production. He is great-grandson to 19th century Bell County Sheriff Sam Sparks.
Judge Sparks said that to replace a candidate between the primary and the general election “would be a serious abuse of the election system and a fraud on the voters, which the court will not condone.”
The Houston Chronicle today editorialized that “DeLay waged a vigorous primary campaign, crushing three Republican challengers. If he was not committed to the race, he should have allowed voters to make another choice.”
In last months issue of Texas Monthly, County Chair Eric Thode told Paul Burka that DeLay told him last January that he would not be returning to Congress. That said, he went on to raise $3.7 million in the first quarter of this year. He spent $2.3 million on the primary, leaving him $1.4 million, presumably to spend on his legal defense costs.
The Chronicle sent a reporter to DeLay’s Sugarland home Thursday. “Virginia Tom”
answered the door himself. “I don’t do this (interviews). “ Not at my house,”
“Goodbye,” he said, closing the door. The DeLay Campaign website is down now, but his Legal Defense Trust is still accepting donations. Pitifully lonely nutcakes note: Log on to, and you’ll never hear the end of them. Or just send your money to me, Charly Liberal, and I’ll promise to stop putting stuff in your drinking water.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fourth of July

I took a drive through East Texas over the fourth of July holidays. Texas highways are looking good. The popular motorcycle route down the Montgomery Trace on highway 149 and through the Sam Houston National Forest was very nice. Everything was very green and the roads were smooth and traffic was light. On the leg between Huntsville and Crockett on highway 19 they have completed construction over the Trinity River near Livingston and all the way north to Crockett. They are working on highway 21 between Crockett and Alto. It was unfortunate to see they had trimmed the canopy along the route in the Davy Crockett National Forest, but I am sure it will grow back quickly. I was happy to see they did not disturb the peculiar "Pepper Tree Planted in 1868" during the road construction. It was fenced off with the orange netting they use during this type of work to protect sensitive areas. Driving past Rusk State Mental Hospital always gives me the creeps, but the crepe myrtles in the easement on highway 79 between Rusk and Jacksonville were in bloom with spectacular color.

All of the world politics of oil aside, it was encouraging to see the oil patch towns like Kilgore and Carthage on the upturn. The roughnecks, machinists, electricians and mechanics who support their families probably don't give much thought to politics, only worry about how they can give their families a better lifestyle. The dusty oil wells had fresh new
gravel pads, access roads, and new fences, and the equipment to pump oil from the ground, once still, was bobbing slowly up and down. These remind me of those funny little Bobbing Drinking Bird toys that appear to have solved the problem of perpetual motion. I even saw some locations flaring off natural gas. These towns looked alive again, with new home construction, fewer boarded up buildings, and new infrastructure. Everything seemed to be opened up, washed clean and freshly painted. The people in these towns seemed more friendly somehow, maybe a little less leery of strangers, less suspicious that you may be one of the outsiders keeping them opressed and downtrodden - one of "them". l wondered where these people laid low during the long down time for wildcatters and how they managed to weather the storm for so long. I felt happy for them, but I still winced when I had to pay $2.83 per gallon to keep moving down the road. At least a small portion of the record profits that oil companies are making seem to be trickling down to the average Joe. It should be more for all the suffering a robust oil business has wrought.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Latest Casualty

of the Enron debacle, Ken Lay is another in the countless toll of bankruptcies, divorces, suicides, murders, and other tragedies resulting from this corporate meltdown.
I couldn't say if he was some prince of darkness, or just another poor schlub hounded to death by law. He certainly didn't look like anything special in person, at least after he was busted.
(Note to shareholders and creditors; state law prevented Enron from taking out nonqualified deferred compensation or "dead peasant" policies on their Texas employees)
For years he was the toast of the town here, a supporter of many good causes. Many local officials testified that he was a good corporate citizen who would step up and do his share when there was heavy lifting to be done.
Whether being a bottomless war chest for Bush and DeLay
served good or evil is moot, but I wonder if Lay and company could have remained simple hometown heroes if certain powers in Washington hadn't allowed them to play so fast and loose with the rules that they came to think that they could get away with the whole candy store.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ken Lay Inc. Folds

Wall Street reports that Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron Corp. has made a massive catasrophic divestature of his personal corporation, Ken Lay. Ken Lay, once the lion of the energy markets and "one of the smartest guys in the room," had turned in a number of poor performances in recent years which prompted Mr. Lay to pull out of Mr. Lay effectively shutting down essential operations such as breathing and heart activity. Ken Lay does some retain some precious metals and a few water holdings, but too little to efficiently extract.

Having learned powers of deceipt from his Missouri father, a baptist minister, Ken Lay was able to appear to deliver great physical performance from his fledgling corporation's essential processes. These operations were increasingly compromised over time by catered foods, alcohol, expensive meals, low exercise, increased stress, and evil, but a clever sleight of hand and deals with the Devil enabled Ken Lay to inflate his health profile, conceal its burgeoning hyperlipidemia and push his good cholesterol higher and higher. Recent fraud convictions and the prospect of 150 years of decreased revenue caused the Ken Lay illusion to finally expire today after 64 years.

Mr. Lay has aquired rights to four philipino boys or "partnerships" named "Jedi", "Chewco", "LJM1" and "LJM2," which he expects to deliver substantial dirivative dividends by shifting the the wages of sin quarterly.

No comment was forthcoming from Satan regarding Mr. Lays disolution and subsequent reorganization into off-shore entities.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Why Do They Hate America?

Killings of two soldiers perhaps retaliation for slain Iraqi family

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Investigators are exploring whether two brutal acts involving the same platoon in Iraq — the abduction and mutilation of two American soldiers in June and the slayings of four Iraqi family members three months earlier — have any direct link, officials said Monday.

Steven D. Green, 21, a former soldier from the same 40-man unit as slain Houston Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, was charged Monday with rape and murder in an incident that occurred in March, military officials confirmed. He was ordered held without bail.

The investigation leading to Green's arrest began last month after the bodies of Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Oregon were recovered and soldiers in their platoon spoke at a "combat stress debriefing" about the alleged rape-slaying of a young woman and the deaths of her family.

Green apparently knew at least one of the soldiers who had been abducted on June 16. The FBI affidavit supporting his arrest said he had "attended a funeral for one of the soldiers who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists." Federal authorities could not clarify whose burial service Green attended.

Investigators are now looking into whether the Iraqis abducted Menchaca and Tucker in retaliation for the killing of the Iraqis, civilian and military officials said.

"That possibility leaps to one's mind. At this point, do we have any evidence of that? No," said Marisa Ford, the chief of the criminal division for the U.S. attorneys office in Louisville, Ky., which is conducting the investigation in the United States. "It is still very early in this investigation."

"Right now we just do not know what the motivation was for the abduction of those soldiers," said a military officer who requested anonymity. "It does seem to be unusual for (Iraqi insurgents) to kidnap soldiers."

Only one other American soldier, Pfc. Kevin Maupin, has been kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents since the end of the ground war in May 2003. Maupin is listed as missing in action.

Green was arraigned in Charlotte, N.C., and is expected to be tried as a civilian on the federal murder and rape charges in Kentucky, where his former unit, the 101st Airborne Division, is based, Ford said.

He had been discharged before the charges were filed. But Ford said there is a mechanism under which the military could order Green back to active duty for a court-martial.

The federal murder charges carry a possible penalty of death.

Documents filed by the FBI in the case described a horrific, premeditated crime.

Green and other soldiers in the platoon spotted a woman, who was described in the FBI papers as "about 25," while working at a traffic checkpoint. Other media reports have said she was a teenager of about 14 or 15.

The Americans talked about raping her while drinking alcohol at the checkpoint, the FBI documents said, quoting two soldiers who are now cooperating with military authorities.

Green and three others went to her house in the Iraq village of Mahmudiyah on March 12. They left behind a fifth soldier to monitor a radio link to headquarters, the FBI statement said.

Once inside the house, Green took three family members — an adult male, a female and a 5-year-old — into a room, and the other soldiers heard a series of gunshots, the FBI statement said.

"I just killed them, all are dead," the witnesses quoted Green as saying.

The murder weapon was an AK-47 found at the house, the FBI statement said.

Green and another soldier now detained in Iraq raped the young woman, the witnesses told the authorities. Then, the witnesses said, Green shot the woman in the head, killing her.

No other soldier has been charged in the case, Maj. Joseph Breasseale, a military spokesman in Baghdad, told the Associated Press. Military officials have said they have disarmed four soldiers and ordered them confined to their base near Mahmudiyah.

Edit: Please read posts by Digby and Patriot Boy who have angles on this. Green was in some DOD propaganda about saftey and security sweeps in the neighborhood he preyed upon.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Son of Hammer

I read that Sugarland Mayor David Wallace has started running radio ads for his CD22 campaign. –Not on any station I listen to. I did receive two different 8-1/2 X 11 color flyers on cardstock in the mail this week. One has a picture of Ronald Reagan with an endorsement from Art Laffer, “Reagan’s top economic advisor”. The other shows a crushed aluminum can, presumably showing what he’ll do to Nick Lampson.(See April 7th post, “Zombie Congressman Sends Out His Minions to Attack the Living”) Keep an eye on that can, it gives a pretty good picture of the sort of prosperity we can expect from republican economic policies. I can’t wait to see the list of usual suspects on Wallace’s first campaign finance report. He claims to have $200K in cash and $800K in commitments. –Juanita at brazosriver called that measley and offered him $100K in commitments if he’d just call before he came over to the beauty shop to collect it so she could alert the media. Somehow I don’t expect him to walk into “The Worlds Most Dangerous Beauty Salon”

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Tom Tomorrow